Bahrain Orders Detention of Brothers of Political Prisoner Over Peaceful Protests

7 April 2021 – Bahrain’s Public Prosecutor has ordered the detention of three brothers from Karbabad this morning on suspicion of illegal gathering over their participation in a peaceful demonstrations calling for the release of their brother, political prisoner Mohammed Hameed Abdulla Hasan AlDaqqaq, as protests continue across the country over an outbreak of coronavirus at Jau Prison, with two other individuals arrested and dozens more summoned for questioning, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and stated today.

A family member informed BIRD that Yunes Hameed Abdulla Hasan AlDaqqaq (46) was summoned to Exhibition Police Station in Sanabis this morning, where he was asked to call his brothers, Yasser Hameed Abdulla Hasan AlDaqqaq (35) and Anwar Hameed Abdulla Hasan AlDaqqaq (44), and request they immediately join him for interrogation.

Yasser subsequently informed relatives that he was presented before Bahrain’s Public Prosecutor today on suspicion of illegal gathering, who subsequently ordered his detention for a further seven days. Unlicensed gatherings of more than five people are illegal under Bahraini law, in breach of Article 22 of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

All three men were questioned over their participation in a small ‘sit-in’ in their home village of Karbabad calling for the release of their brother, Mohammed, who has been serving a lengthy sentence at Jau Prison since 2015. Mohammed, was born with only one kidney and suffers from a range of medical conditions linked to sickle cell anaemia, which required him to undergo a splenectomy.

During his imprisonment, Mohammed was reportedly subjected to torture and has complained of periodic medical negligence, leading to lengthy hospitalisations in 2016 and 2018. His medical conditions place him at heightened risk of coronavirus, an outbreak of which has spread rapidly through Building 21 of the prison in recent weeks. While the government has officially confirmed just three infections, local activists report figures of over 70; BIRD has independently confirmed at least 28 cases, with new infections reported daily.

The failure to contain the outbreak and authorities’ attempts to conceal its severity have sparked protests across Bahrain, with demonstrations reported in at least 28 towns and villages throughout the country last weekend. BIRD understands that dozens of others have been summoned for questioning between 6 and 7 April regarding the protests, while local activists report that two further detained individuals will be presented before Bahrain’s Public Prosecution tomorrow. They are Ali Muhanna, whose son is a political prisoner at Jau Prison and Sayed Saeed, whose 15-year old son Sayed Hashem was killed by Bahraini police during protests in 2011.

Husain Abdulla, Executive Director at Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, commented: “Bahrain’s allies in Britain and America must make it clear that they will not tolerate Bahrain’s interference in their citizens’ right to protest. Their continued failure to reign in their ally is only emboldening the regime; these political prisoners should be immediately and unconditionally released.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, commented: “Whenever people in Bahrain peacefully take to the streets to call for the release of beloved family members, they face judicial harassment and intimidation from authorities. Instead of meeting protestors’ legitimate demands, they have once again reacted with repression; Bahrain must not be permitted to run roughshod over their citizens’ right to free assembly.”